Spend a Couple Hours »Pint Sized Painters

at Frolic!

I’ve been to a few kid classes in my relatively brief  time as a parent but have learned there’s a delicate  balance to making one completely successful.

Sometimes the teacher is great with kids but really awkward with the parents, other times they are too impatient for the age group they teach. Sometimes the activities are a little beyond the kids’ abilities and the focus is too much on a finished activity or project than just having fun.

Pint Sized Painters manages to balance everything really well, thanks in large part to Z, the instructor who also works as an art director.

She’s at ease with kids and parents alike, keeps instructions and slide shows short and sweet (managing to catch toddler’s interest with the work of Hurst (who taught Van the word “dots!” and Rauschenberg!) and the projects are manageable – kids get to dive in as much as they want, but if distracted, can get involved just by pointing to where they want a color, or helping her squeeze paint.

In the end, we end up with awesome art to take home, that you never feel that you created more than your child.

This is the first class I’ve taken at Frolic! and while it’s pricier than many, I’ve loved it and the take home projects are priceless -as is seeing Van swimming in a giant smock.

See more: Spend a Couple Hours

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on July 12, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Fabric Marker Onesies


Disappointed with art fair onesies, both in price and style, I was inspired to buy some crayola fabric markers and have at it myself.

It was most fun to turn it into an art project with Van, who loves the letter “V” and bulls (the animal, not the sports team) – so I was able to customize with appropriate imagery. Bull onesies aren’t exactly easy to come by in this world. And to be honest, simple quirky dots, stars, stripes and other simple prints are hard to come by too without costing a lot more than I’m willing to spend.

The pens were a little harder to control that I expected (detail isnt really an option) but once my grandiose plans were leveled with realty, it was lots of fun.

While the colors are not super vibrant, they are nice and will only fade slightly in the wash so long as you iron each side for the recommended four minutes.

It’s cool to see your kid running around in something you made.

See more: Spend a Couple Hours

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on July 11, 2012

Web Sites »Miroco Machiko

Japanese Illustrator

The work of Japanese artist Miroco Machiko has to be some of the most charming I’ve seen.

I found the whimsical childlike illustrations through a friend on Pinterest and can’t stop admiring at them.

I find them very inspiring and want to just let go with paints, markers and crayons one afternoon not over thinking the end result.

Just lovely.

See more: Web Sites

One Comment →
Posted on May 1, 2012

Laughs »The Rainbow Sponge


If you get off on wiggles, you may want to watch this Rainbow Sponge infomercial in private.

See more: Laughs

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on March 16, 2012

Web Sites »Monster Brains

A never ending celebration of monsters

What a wonderful world. There’s always something new to become completely obsessed with. I give you my latest: Mexican pulp art which is on display at Monster Brains.

But wait! Monster Brains has even more cool stuff for your perusal. Like: grotesque animals, creepy vintage ads, D&D books, sci-fi covers and other generally disturbing, wild or scary pieces of art.

It’s way excellent!

See more: Web Sites

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on January 20, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Art Lab Junior

at Caribou Baby

I’ve been excited to find an art class for Van pretty much since before he was born, bit it’s not easy finding one for younger toddlers. So I was thrilled when Caribou Baby began offering ArtLab Junior.

We’ve been to two of five classes already and explored water and stripes to Van’s utter delight.

Plus I got my first fridge art!

The series ends February 8 but a new one for children 2-4 starts march 7. I hope a junior class is soon to follow. It’s 100 for five classes and is held Wednesdays at 3:30. I highly recommend!!

See more: Spend a Couple Hours

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on January 19, 2012

Spend a Couple Minutes »Paul McCarthy: The Dwarves, The Forest

Hauser & Wirth New York32 East 69th Street (Ends Tomorrow)

Normally I’d see a show before recommending it, but I am so sure the Snow White gone awry Paul McCarthy exhibit, The Dwarves, The Forest at Hauser & Wirth will be great, I have no qualms listing it sight unseen.

More importantly, it ends tomorrow, so I wanted to give fans a heads up!

See more: Spend a Couple Minutes

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on December 16, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Natural History at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

20111012-121811.jpgby Patrick Dougherty

Sometimes we forget what great, beautiful resources we have for outdoor fun in the city. I hadn’t been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in some time but enjoyed the surprisingly gorgeous weather introducing Van to koi, grass (which he’s still skeptical of) and roses.

I also really loved the Natural History sculptures by Patrick Dougherty. They feel both natural and otherworldly. Wish we had one of these stick huts to hang out in all the time.

See more: Spend a Couple Minutes

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on October 14, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Tribute in Light

9/11 Memorial

The Tribute in Light is a most thoughtful and touching monument in honor of our darkest day.

This might be the last year the temporary art installation is up, so be sure to see it tonight and take a quiet moment of remembrance

See more: Spend a Couple Minutes

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on September 11, 2011

Web Sites »Philip Govedare


Facebook is not only for people to exclaim FML! or link to Quizzes that tell you which Family Guy character you are. Friend Craig used the social site to link to artist Philip Govedare, whose wild, beautiful yet eerie landscapes are phenomenal. They make me feel like I’ve been privy to secret images of new found worlds.

Thanks for the excellent find, Craig!

See more: Web Sites

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on September 3, 2011

Web Sites »Grain Edit

Modern Graphic Design Inspiration Blog

Great graphic inspiration blogs are aplenty, but you’ll find fewer as well maintained, interesting, and informed as Grain Edit.

From children’s books, to bottle labels, from calendars to maps the Grain Edit team tracks down the greatest stuff to inflame the creative mind.

The site is constantly updated with newness and the archives could take days to explore – but it is worth the time, so start digging and enjoy!

See more: Web Sites

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on August 14, 2011

Laughs »The Record Books

Music As Literature

These clever, funny, and amazingly rendered albums reinterpreted as novels are fantastic! There are so many great ones, but of course a science fiction cover for Purple Rain ranks among my very favorites.

London designer Christophe Gowans has also done a bang up job reinterpreting classic art as classic album covers. Just check out that Black Sabbath/Nude Descending a Staircase mashup. Genius!

Thanks to Will from The Stencil for posting these on FB…

Which in turn posted a link to these Pelican Book versions of classic albums.

These pretty much made my day.

See more: Laughs

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on August 3, 2011

Web Sites »Atelier Pour Enfants

Amazing Collection of Children’s Books

Oh my goodness I am in LOVE with the blog Atelier Pour Enfants, in love. I can’t read a word of it, but who needs to with all the adorable, interesting, beautiful artwork.

I’ve spent hours looking through the entire archive getting all kinds of inspired. In fact, I’ve started a whole new project with all the new ideas these wonderful books have inflamed in my brain.

An absolute must for lovers of illustration or really anybody that enjoys looking at cute, great design. I would love to find some of the books for Mr. Van – will have to keep an eye out.

Found this site through another great site (and previous Brix Pick) called Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves.

See more: Web Sites

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on August 2, 2011

Places to Visit »Leviathan Installation by Anish Kapoor

at the Grand Palais In Paris Through June 23, Guest Written by Shaun:

Just got back from Paris and saw an overwhelmingly massive installation by Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais titled Leviathan.

Leviathan seems to stray away from his general use of reflective mirrored surfaces and this time the material is canvas and rubber blown up into three connected balls.

The first part of the exhibition enters inside the structure where pinging noises can be heard bouncing around. It’s dark and bloody from the inside, then you are directed outside of the structure and into the Grand Palais where you see the full size and scope of the piece.

It is pretty much impossible to describe how large this piece is, but if you happen to be in Paris, the installation is up till the 23rd of June.

See more: Places to Visit

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on June 17, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Christie’s Auction App

Auction Goodness

Since I love the Christie’s website, I’ve had the iphone app installed for some time but only just tried it out. It’s great!

With one thumb I can peruse the latest auctions, view all the items in an easy viewable grid format, see full size images, and email to friends.

Here are just a few favorites from the upcoming Latin American Sale (oh, to be a millionaire – that Botero would be hanging in my wall).

See more: Spend a Couple Minutes

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on May 21, 2011

Web Sites »The Office of Kate Bingaman Burt

Daily Purchase Drawings, Etc.

The idea of seeing one person’s daily purchases may sound a bit boring, but with the whimsical hand of Kate Bingaman Burt, it’s enchanting. Even corporate logos look interesting when hand drawn, plus it makes you think about your own consumption and will inspire you to draw more.

Her project was published as a book called Obsessive Consumption and her unique style has graced the advertising of companies like Target and Madewell. She’s at the forefront of the handmade mini revolution.

See more: Web Sites

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on March 9, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »George Condo: Mental States

at The New Museum through May 8

My friend Jessica directed me to the George Condo exhibit at the New Museum. I felt like a bad art student for not recognizing the name, but am glad to learn about the prolific artist now. The exhibit begins on the 4th floor where an onslaught of his work greets you. It’s actually an appropriate way to confront his manic work that ranges from dark Bacon-esque portraits (including one of my favorites, Man with Three Arms) to bright, almost slap dash paintings that look, and I mean this in a good way, like artwork from an insane asylum.

The next floor offers a series of paintings that merit more individual examination titled “Melancholia”. These disturbing, funny and sad portraits of archetypes with bloated faces and confused disembodied smiles were the most captivating of the show. Next were more provocative excessively sexual works entitled “Manic Society” and even if it makes me sound like a prude, I found their crassness uninteresting. “Abstraction” is the final room in this retrospective and featured huge layered canvases. Some of my favorites revealed small intriguing overlapping sad faces once you took a closer look.

Also on display in the other galleries is the work of sculptress Lynda Benglis. Some of her stuff is pretty cool. I liked the glowing neon blobs suspended out of the wall, but frankly it was harder to have enthusiasm for a big stick with glitter on it or pink paper mache with gift wrap sticking out of it. Too many memories of Freshman year art projects I guess.

Thanks to Jim for doing Van duty which allowed me a night out. The museum is open til 9 on Thursdays and to my happy surprise, it was free too. An even happier surprise? Birdbath has opened a cafe in the lobby!

See more: Spend a Couple Hours

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on March 4, 2011